Tag Archives: RealD

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 20 August 2014

AMC Imax

AMC and Imax have signed a deal to deepen their business ties. What this signifies is that AMC and Wanda Cinemas, while technically different companies (though with shared ownership) are increasingly becoming indistinguishable with regards to cinema business policies. I bet they even buy popcorn kernels from the same vendor, even if they don’t put out press releases about it.

IMAX Corporation IMAX, +2.03% (IMX) and AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. AMC, +1.43% today announced an expansion of the companies’ existing joint revenue sharing arrangement with the addition of 11 IMAX® theatres. The theatres, which will carry 13-year lease terms from the date of installation, are expected to be installed in 2015 in cities that include Chicago, New York, Newark and Phoenix. Today’s agreement brings AMC’s total IMAX commitment to 159 theatres and reinforces its position as the largest IMAX exhibitor in North America.  LINK

Rakesh Kumar CBFC

India’s much reviled Chief Censor has been indicted for corruption. You couldn’t make this up, but it highlights what a rotten mess Indian bureaucracy is when a ‘babu’ with a railway background (!) is put in charge of a body like the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). It is worth remembering what a let’s-clean-up-this-cinematic-filth-style moralist Kumar was when he was first appointed to the job.

The CBI arrested Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) CEO Rakesh Kumar in an alleged bribery case on Monday.

Last week the CBI had registered a case against Kumar and also arrested an authorized censor agent and an advisory panel member of the CBFC for demanding a Rs 70,000 bribe on the behalf of the CEO to urgently clear a film from Chhattisgarh.

The CBI had conducted search on Kumar’s residence last week and had recovered Rs 10.50 lacks cash, gold jewellery and property documents.  LINK

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Quarterly Results: RealD (Good) and NCM (Not)

RealD logo

We are coming to the end of the current season of quarterly financial results, with RealD and National CineMedia, Inc announcing their respective Q1 2015 and Q2 2014 results. One is good and the other one not so good.

Starting with 3D technology licensing company RealD, the figures should please investors, with a 43% EBITDA year-on-year growth and net income of over USD 5 million. The press release gives the details:

Total revenue was $55.4 million, comprised of license revenue of $36.0 million and product and other revenue of $19.4 million. For the first quarter of fiscal 2014, total revenue was $59.2 million, comprised of license revenue of $37.3 million and product and other revenue of $21.9 million.

China license revenue represented 14% of total worldwide license revenue, up from 8% in the first fiscal quarter of 2014.

GAAP net income attributable to common stockholders was $5.5 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to GAAP net loss attributable to common stockholders of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

The key metrics are interesting in terms of showing RealD weathering a slowdown in North America, both in terms of deployment and box office, with growth in emerging markets more than compensating and in some cases overtaking US/Canada numbers.

  • Estimated box office generated on RealD-enabled screens(1) for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 was $787 million ($387 million domestic, $400 million international). In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, estimated box office generated on RealD-enabled screens was $838 million ($431 million domestic, $407 million international).
  • Ten 3D films were released in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, compared to eight 3D films in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. These figures reflect the number of 3D films released domestically during the periods.
  • International markets generated 63% of license revenue and 34% of product and other revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
  • As of June 30, 2014, RealD had deployed approximately 25,600 RealD-enabled screens, an increase of 9% from approximately 23,500 screens as of June 30, 2013, and an increase of 400 screens (50 domestic, 350 international), or 2%, from approximately 25,200 screens as of March 31, 2014.
  • As of June 30, 2014, RealD had approximately 13,450 domestic screens at approximately 3,000 domestic theater locations and approximately 12,150 international screens at approximately 3,000 international theater locations.

In the earnings call (transcript by Seeking Alpha, as always) CEO Michael V. Lewis pointed to a 20% cost reduction and significant growth in China, Russia and Latin America as keys to the company’s success in this quarter.

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CineEurope 2014: The Future of Big Screen

The Future of Big Screen Panel at CineEurope 2014

Next panel-ette starts a bit early with IHS’s David Hancock saying he will try to “keep it short, sharp and punchy.” RealD and IMAX in the ring with him.  Here are some of the highlights from the panel discussion as submitted live via iPhone:

“How do you define large screen?” asks Hancock. Andrew Cripps of Imax cites Los Angeles Times article that reported that premium large format (PLF) screens are 20% larger than regular size movie screen but says in IMAX “a lot of other elements go into it.” RealD’s Bob Mayson notes irony of discussing big screen in a very small conference room. [Indeed].

Luxe is an Eastern Europe/Russia focused initiative. Mayson told me earlier that they announced in a recent investor call that they now have 22 PLF screens committed of which at least half should be in place before the end of this year.

Cripps talks about working with film makers and the ‘total experience’. Hancock asks what drives it. Mayson says premium ticket prices and the ‘thirst for a better experience, particularly when there is so much competition for the consumer’s dollars.’ He points out that when he was at Kodak he sold a LOT of film to IMAX. [that was before Cripps joined].

Cripps agrees with Mayson on the premium price/experience. Makes an analogy with Starbucks coffee. Hancock asks if smaller 2D screens are under threat. Mayson mentions small VIP seating, but acknowledges that’s not today’s topic.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 12 June 2014

RealD CineEurope 2014

We’ve featured MasterImage, DepthQ and Volfoni, but the 3D presentations at this year’s CineEurope will be courtesy of RealD.

Exhibiting from the grand CCIB Auditorium, RealD will be at the very heart of the proceedings using our innovative 2D and 3D-optimised Precision White Screen (PWS). Benefiting from extra wide viewing angles and brighter edges, RealD ensures an unprecedented quality of image for this year’s best upcoming releases.

Experience the future with us in in Barcelona. We look forward to seeing you there. Discover more in room M213.

Sony CineEurope

As if we weren’t tempted enough by the ECA Lounge or the Coca-Cola bar at CineEurope, who can resist this tempting invite from Sony?

Unwind and relax in our chill out zone on the first floor at CineEurope 2014 from 16-19 June in Barcelona.

Relax on our sofas, charge your phone with our power outlets and play with the latest 4K tech.

Click here for more information

Only a few more days to go now until CineEurope 2014 kicks off in Barcelona. See you there.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 6 June 2014

children in cinema

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it,” Mark Twain once said. Is the same true for declining cinema youth attendance? Not in France, which is making sure that the next generation values and keeps the ’7th Art’ alive in cinemas.

To overcome this drop and respond quickly to the first problem, exhibitors have at the beginning of the year set a single price of 4 euros for children under the age of 14. The operation caused some gnashing of teeth from the distributors, who have seen their revenues decline. It nevertheless proved a success, and contributes greatly to the revival of attendance in the last six months.

More fundamentally, the education aspect of cinema is subject to multiple touches. A report commissioned by the CNC has been finalized. Directed by Xavier Lardoux, Deputy Director General of Unifrance (Support Association of French cinema export), he advocates through 10 measures, the establishment of a genuine European policy for film education.

The author of the report considers educating young audiences about the 7 th art to be both a political and an economic necessity. “When we see a French child spends more time in front of a screen, whatever it is, at school, and that children are facing more and more young people in these screens, learning how to watch should be taught earlier. As for the economic aspect, it is about creating the spectators of tomorrow for European cinema, which is a major industry,” Xavier Lardoux said.  LINK

Cocteau cinema Game of Thrones

Calling the theatrical platform ‘the largest pay-per-view platform in the world’, Cinemark’s CEO Tim Warner calls for big shows like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and episodes of “The Voice” to be shown in cinemas. Give the success of TV events like “Dr Who: The Day of the Doctors” even in the US, it would be more surprising if he didn’t call for cinemas to have access to such premium content.

“‘Game of Thrones’ on the big screen would be so exciting,” Warner said. “It’s not that you can’t go to the bar and watch this stuff, but you can’t have that premium experience.”

However, studios may need to become more collaborative. Structurally, media conglomerates tend to run their television and film arms separately without allowing for much overlap.

“They’re going to have break down that barrier within the studios, so that all the content providers take a look at whatever content they’re doing and say, ‘Should this be going into this platform?’” Warner said.  LINK

If nothing else, it gives credence to Quentin Tarantino’s recent rant that “Digital projection, that’s just television in public.” And “Game of Thrones” did screen in one particular cinema.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 14 May 2014

Tim League

An in-depth interview with Tim League, founder and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a true pioneer in the American exhibition industry. Very disarming and insightful.

How did the dining experience while watching a movie come about?
There was a theater in Portland [Ore.]that did beer and food service in the theater, and we really liked it. … So, yeah we completely blatantly ripped it off from another theater.

Why do you think the cinema eatery concept has been so popular?
Traditional movie concessions work for a certain group—sometimes you want a Coke and a popcorn. But our audience is a little older just by the nature of what we do, and so it’s a great date experience where you can compress eating and going to a movie into two hours and minimize the babysitting time.

How did you start the whole concept of making themed nights in which the food reflects the movie?
I think that just comes with me being a movie fan, and I like to throw events and parties. So it just seemed a natural fit. … The idea of making the experience special and offering people something they can’t get anywhere else was very early on part of our marketing strategy to build loyalty.  LINK

 

RealD

Italy – RealD has signed a deal with Italian exhibitor The Space Cinema to increase the latter’s 3D screens by 40%.

RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD) and leading Italian theatrical exhibitor, THE SPACE CINEMA, announced today an extended agreement to install an additional 40 RealD 3D Cinema Systems at THE SPACE CINEMA locations throughout Italy. When combined with the approximately 100 RealD 3D equipped THE SPACE CINEMA auditoriums today, the number of RealD 3D installations across THE SPACE CINEMA locations will be in total more than 140. New RealD Cinema System installations have begun and are expected to be completed by this summer.  LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 9 May 2014

The Cinema Theatre in Rochester goes digital

This small-single screen is one of the last in its area to make the switch to digital. So why aren’t we filing it away further down? Because the area is Rochester, home of Eastman Kodak, aka the Company That Digital Nearly Killed.

The Cinema’s swap this week from film to digital projection marks one of the last area theaters to make that switch. Rochester’s Little Theatre converted to digital last year, as did Avon’s Vintage Drive In. The George Eastman House’s Dryden Theatre added a digital projector last year. Rochester Theater Management — which operates movie theaters in Brockport, Geneseo and Canandaigua — did not return a message seeking comment. But according to its website, all three movie houses also have converted to digital.

And according to the Digital Cinema Implementation Partnership — owned jointly by movie chain giants AMC Entertainment Inc., Cienmark USA Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group — Cinemark’s multiplexes in Gates and Brighton; Regal’s in Henrietta, Greece and Irondequoit; and AMC’s in Webster all have made the digital switch.

As you would expect from the newspaper of industry town hard hit by digital, the article gives a lot of details about the digital switchover. It notes that in the most recent quarter “Kodak’s Graphics, Entertainment & Commercial Films business were down 18 percent from a year ago, with most of that decline due to sliding sales of motion picture film.”

Despite a successful Indiegogo campaign to help buy a new projector the cinema’s manager doesn’t see an upside to digital, just the ability to going back to showing films the same way they were able to 2-3 years ago before prints started drying up. Only now they have to charge USD $1 for each ticket. “It doesn’t increase business one little bit,” he said. “This thing is strictly a cost of doing business.”

Cinema ticket price comparison map

This is a fun and interesting piece of infographics derived from numbeo.com about which countries have the most expensive and cheapest cinema tickets. The most expensive countries, where tickets cost on average more than the equivalent of USD $17.50 are Japan, Switzerland, Norway and Angola, which similarly to Norway is seeing prices pushed up too much by oil finds. (Saudi Arabia is strangely also included in this group, which is peculiar given that the Kingdom officially has no cinemas.)

The cheapest countries are Cuba, Haiti, Guyana, Lesotho, Laos, Iran and Turkmenistan, some of which are perhaps better known internationally for their films than their cinemas. Amazingly Australia falls outside the top tier of expensive cinemas, but probably only just, give the recent controversies about ticket prices.  The full size map can be found here.

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Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 8 May 2014

Wanda Cinema CBD

RealD and Wanda Cinemas have launched a 3D Brightness certification scheme that will ensure that participating screens will be displaying at least 6footLamberts (6FL) of brightness. There is a fear that dim 3D images could soon lead to a similar 3D backlash that has already been experienced in the US. It is calculated that running a 6kW compared to a 3kW bulb will cost 30,000 yuan (USD $4,800) more per year, which is why tickets to these auditoriums will be at a higher premium. Perhaps an idea to export to the West.

This theater standard will come at a higher cost. However, improved viewing experience has become a major pursuit of cinemas. Thus, Wanda Cinema Beijing CBD  became the first cinema hall in Asian with 6FL certification auditoriums. It is reported that this certification means that the auditorium will always show image brightness of 6FL for all 3D movies, with 3D brightness regularly monitored. For tickets the price will be slightly higher than non-certified cinema screen, and will be particularly marketed as such by Wanda Cinema on the ticket.  LINK

Cineworld Logo

UK: Cineworld had a good Q1 but expect cinema attendance to slump during the World Cup – until England gets eliminated in the second round, that is.

Hits including The Lego Movie, The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave helped Cineworld increase its share of UK box office takings from 26.9% to 27.6% in the first four months of the year, as the group pushed up ticket prices almost 5%, against a 1.9% rise in admissions. Cinema goers have been more willing to spend on popcorn and fizzy drinks, and now Starbucks coffee, as retail revenue rose 6.1% on last year.

Revenue growth of 7% at home was beaten in Eastern Europe and Israel after the £500 million acquisition of Cinema City International this year. LINK

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Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 7 May 2014

French cinema box office 2014

Cinema attendance is up in the first four month in France. Let’s hope this is the start of a Europe-wide trend.

April 2014, the attendance of cinemas rose +15.4% vs. the same period in 2013, to 19.13 million entries, according to estimates of the National Film Centre and Moving Image Centre (CNC) . In the first four months of 2014, and 75.67 million viewers who were registered, 17% more than in January-April 2013. Market share of French films is estimated at 46 6% in the first four months of the year (vs 40.9% in January-April 2013) and the American films to 42.5% (vs. 47.5% in January-April 2013). Over the past 12 months, the market share of French films is estimated at 36.3%, that of American films to 51.7% and that of other films to 12.1%.  LINK

New Mission Theatre

It seems that San Francisco is welcoming Alamo Drafthouse taking over the iconic New Mission Theater cinema with open arms.

There was a flurry of excitement among the film crowd in January 2013 when the Planning Commission approved the $10 million renovation of the long-shuttered, 2,021-seat New Mission Theater at 2550 Mission. At that same time, the Alamo Drafthouse — an Austin-based franchise which describes itself as “a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery,” with locations as far-flung as New Braunfels, Tex., Yonkers, N.Y., and Kalamazoo, Mich. — formally announced it was slated to open the rechristened Alamo Drafthouse New Mission “in the third quarter of 2014.”

It was especially exciting for those of us who nerd out about the number of movie screens in town. In last year’s big Summer Movie issue, I calculated that San Francisco had 75 movie screens spread among 18 theaters. That number is now up to 77 screens among 18 theaters, thanks to the Embarcadero’s spiffy renovation last fall, and the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission would bump us to 82 screens among 19 theaters.  LINK

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CinemaCon 2014: Press Release Roundup

CinemaCon Logo

PLEASE NOTE: If we missed any individual press release it was not done purposefully. If you would like us to include a CinemaCon related press announcement in a future roundup, please forward it to tips@celluloidjunkie.com.

Historically companies and organizations doing business at trade shows and conferences have relied heavily upon press releases to get their message out to an industry. This has been especially true at CinemaCon and ShoWest before it. This year was no different.

The first day of the show always sees a flurry of announcements “hit the wire”. As the week (and convention) progresses the number of releases tends to dwindle. We thought it might be useful to sum up all of the announcements made at this year’s show, and when appropriate, provide a bit of insight or analysis. Here are the releases published during CinemaCon 2014 listed in alphabetical order by company name:


Arts Alliance Media
The London based digital cinema integrator and software developer is is always good for a few releases during industry trade shows. CinemaCon saw them release no fewer than four. The first announced the launch of a new software solution called AdFuser. The software was designed for all aspects of on-screen cinema advertising. The software is capable of planning campaigns and managing inventory, targeting ads to appropriate genres or audience demographics, automated ad playlist creation, ad content delivery, reporting and much more. AdFuser can be used in either an extremely granular or completely automated fashion.

Our Take: AAM’s cinema advertising software has been in development for years so it is interesting to see them finally launch the product. We have yet to have a close demonstration of the solution, but look forward to seeing it in action. The company is entering a niche market with a stiff competitor (Unique Digital) that has more than a decade head start in the space.

AAM announced a software deal with Vox Cinemas, a cinema chain based in the Middle East. The circuit will be employing AAM’s suite of software to manage their digital cinema technology and operations. This includes solutions such as Screenwriter Plus (Theatre Management System), Producer (Enterprise Circuit Management System) and Locksmith (Enterprise KDM Management) and Lifeguard (NOC Tools). Vox operates 9 complexes which account for 92 screens in Lebanon and the UAE.

Finnkino was already using AAM’s theatre management system (TMS) and will now upgrade to Screenwriter Plus, which has additional features for automation and monitoring. The circuit will rollout the new version of Screenwriter Plus throughout their 14 sites and at a later date has the option to include their 11 Forum Cinemas located in the Baltic.

AAM began as a digital cinema integrator with their own virtual print fees (VPFs) in Europe. They have now entered the complicated Latin American market with a series of partners, most recently Quanta-DGT. The trio announced three deals for VPF rollouts with three exhibitors in Uruguay; Grupo Cine, Life Cinemas and Movie.

Our Take: This agreement is a perfect example of just how complex Latin America can be for the motion picture business. While the combined 61 screens covered in the contract already have digital cinema equipment installed, these screens will now fall under AAM/Quanta-DGT’s VPF agreements.


Barco
CinemaBarcoThe Belgian based projector manufacturer was incredibly active during this year’s CinemaCon, showing up at the conference with half a dozen press releases. Many of the notices centered around their new CinemaBarco initiative, specifically the 60,000-lumen laser projector the company is bringing to market. The projector is DCI-compliant and capable of showing 4K content all the way up to 60 frames per second. The Barco 6P laser projector is capable of showing 3D content in 4K at 14 ftL and is fully integrated within the DCI-compliant projector. It will be commercially available immediately in the United States and China before being distributed in the rest of the world by the end of 2014. The company demonstrated the projector at CinemaCon without a “shaking” screen.

To prove just how market ready their laser projector is, Barco announced that Cinemark would be the first exhibitor to install the new technology. The release didn’t specify precisely which sites Barco would be installing its high-tech projector in, though don’t be surprised if Cinemark Century 16 South Point and XD winds up being the first. That’s the Las Vegas cinema in which Barco was conducting off-site demonstrations of its laser projector during CinemaCon.

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